Author's note: Hey all! I know I promised a YYH fic next… but it's coming slowly and I haven't posted anything new in forever… so, I'm putting this up instead I'm halfway through editing my next YGO fic. And the KuramaItani one is coming I promise! (All one person who cares. For you I am here!) Anyway… I really like this fic, so be nice to it. Yeah, enjoy. Oh! It's set in their second year of high school.
Chapter 1: Uncertain Homecoming
A brown-haired boy stood with his back against the only wall not covered in blackboard, his pack back lay between him and the sea of desks. The boy - well I suppose young man would be more appropriate, this was a junior classroom after all so he was 16 – pushed his unruly hair out of his eyes drat it all, why is it always so messy? It's not like I don't spend half an hour fighting with it every morning then shoved his hands into the pockets of his black school slacks, leaning back just trying to ignore the whispers.
"Hey, isn't that that Li kid from elementary school?"
"I think so."
"He's so hot!"
"He was always hot."
"Well, he's still hot!"
"And still cold." One stated, and they all knew she wasn't talking about his looks.
"I think he's got that loner appeal." A petite brunette giggled.
The young man lowered his head even further (if that were possible) and turned his body a little away from them. Why did the girls always have to gush over him like that? It wasn't any of their business, and it wasn't earning them any points with him. He only cared about the opinion of one girl. A girl he hadn't seen in almost four years.
"Maybe we should go say hi." One girl ventured. Another looked him over.
"I don't think-"
"Li!" A girl, (excuse me - young lady) burst into the room cutting off whatever the other girl had been going to say.
The boy's brown head shot up revealing stunning amber eyes. He broke into a rare smile as the girl came to an abrupt halt in front of him, suddenly shy.
"Hello… Sakura." He blushed.
"Hello, Li." She blushed too, her green eyes avoiding his amber ones.
"So, um," he licked his lips nervously. Hang it all! He'd been waiting for this moment for four years and now he could barely breathe let alone talk.
"Oh come on you two! No need to be shy!" A bright voice sounded behind them.
"Madison!" Li smiled again.
The gray haired girl nodded, "Hello Li, we're so happy to see you again." She smiled sweetly.
"Yeah, and about that." Madison looked them over expectantly, "You know, you two haven't seen each other in four years! It's not like you haven't already declared your love, so can we skip the awkward moment?"
"Wha? Hoe?" Li and Sakura just stared at her (I'll let you guess which one said what hee hee J )
Madison tapped her foot impatiently, placing her hands on her hips. "Will you two just hug already!?!"
Sakura and Li were too shocked to move, but a glare from Madison sent them into one another's arms. Which, as it turned out, wasn't so awkward after all. The years melted away in an instant, all the tension was gone. They were together again, which was where they really belonged. Madison really wished she still carried a camera with her.
"How sweet. Done yet kids?"
"Shut up Eli."
Li pulled away from Sakura, chagrined. Even if Eli had interrupted this moment that had been pretty rude of him - after all, Eli was kind of his ancestor and his mother had given him countless lectures about being respectful. It had just been habit, but he was sorry. He opened his mouth prepared to apologize, then stopped when he realized something very important...
He hadn't been the one to say it.
"But Madison." Eli's voice, much to Li's surprise, sounded pleading.
"No Eli, this is their moment and now look – you've ruined it!" she gestured expansively toward the couple.
"I'm sorry Madison." He gave her a pleading, apologetic look - begging her forgiveness.
"I suppose I could forgive you, if…"
"Yes?" Now Eli was just humoring her, he knew she had forgiven him.
"If you'll buy me a sweet rice cake at lunch."
Li face faulted, but Sakura just giggled. After all, Eli had been back for a year now, and he and Madison had hooked up almost right away. She saw this sort of thing nearly everyday.
Sakura helped Li up as the teacher entered the classroom.
"I'll explain it to you later." She spoke a whispered promise into his ear, making him shiver. It was good to have her close to him again. Silently she led him to a seat then seated herself directly in front of him. Li smiled, he was so glad to be back in Tomoeda.
"So, how about I give you the grand 'reacquainting tour'? We don't have much homework today."
Li laughed, "Does Tomoeda really have one of those?"
"It does now." Sakura smiled, and Li laughed again as he reached up and brushed some leaves out of her hair. They were walking down a tree-bordered street and the breeze was blowing lightly.
"Leaves." He explained as her questioning emerald gaze met his.
"So, you wanna go?" She asked impatiently.
He laughed, "Yes. Yes Sakura, I want to go."
"You're so cheerful." She noted looking sideways at him.
"I'm with you again." He smiled, reaching over to entwine their fingers.
Sakura blushed, but didn't withdraw her hand from his. They were in love right? So why should she be embarrassed?
"I'm really glad you're back."
Li smiled and squeezed her hand, "Me too."
They were just leaving the museum (the third stop on their 'reacquainting tour') and the afternoon had gone great. They had visited all their old haunts. Only Penguin Park was left, and they were kind of gathering their nerve for that one – a lot of wacky stuff had happened there after all.
Most of their earlier uneasiness had gone as they fell back into the camaraderie they had shared in his last year in Japan. But there were a few awkward moments. Like when Sakura had almost fallen and Li had helped her up (she was such a klutz sometimes). He had so wanted to take her into his arms, but he hadn't. So four years ago she said she loved him, and now she seemed happy to see him – that didn't mean he had the right to hold her though. Who knows, she might have a boyfriend by now he hated that thought.
Sakura was chattering happily, swinging their joined arms (joined by their entwined fingers, duh!) totally oblivious to Li's thoughts. To her it seemed obvious that they would officially be together now. He had said he loved her, she had said she loved him, that was that.
The light turned green, the accompanying beep insuring that they could hear as well as see that it was okay to walk. Sakura began to walk into the crosswalk. Without warning a black truck screeched past. Li pulled Sakura out of the way just in time.
He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close. His heart was beating so fast he thought it would explode. His Sakura! What would he do if something happened to her?
Burying her face in his chest she clung to him. That had not been fun. As her breathing returned to normal she realized that Li was still holding her. She could feel his heart racing. Had he really been that scared? She pulled back, looking up into his eyes.
"Li." She breathed softly.
"Sakura," he raised a hand, gently brushing her hair away from her face. Their gazes held for a moment of eternity. Sakura saw longing in his eyes, but also something else. It was as though he was afraid to make a move, as if he were searching for something in her eyes. Slowly rising on tip toe (she was only 5' 8" to his 6' 3" after all) she brought her lips closer to his until they were almost touching.
"I always thought you two just needed a little encouragement."
"Eli!" Li pulled back just before Sakura's lips met his, fighting back disappointment, but filled with hope. If she was going to kiss him that must mean she still loved him right?
Sakura bit back her own disappointment. Li might never allow her such freedom again. "Was that you, Eli?" she asked lightly.
Eli nodded, smirking at Li.
Sakura smiled, "No wonder I didn't see it coming."
Eli's smile grew wider.
"You, you," Li's face was turning an unnatural shade of red.
"Yes descendant? You seem to be having some trouble articulating today."
"You JERK!!!" Li exploded, he grabbed Eli by his collar, "what if Sakura had gotten hurt!?"
"Relax Showrun; the car was just an illusion. A little magic trick. Only you and Sakura could even see it." He chuckled, "you should have seen those people's faces when you jerked her back over nothing."
"Why you – You shouldn't use your magic so frivolously." Li told him, jerking him once for good measure before releasing him.
Eli straightened his collar serenely, he arched a brow at Li, "So now you are going to tell me how best to use magic?" he asked in disbelief.
"Just get lost Moon."
"As you wish Li." Eli blinked out of sight.
Li sighed, "I hate it when he does that."
Sakura rested a hand on his arm, "He didn't mean any harm. He really is a sweet guy, usually."
"I know, and he's helped me some over the last few years, but," Li ran a hand through his already unruly hair, "sometimes he just drives me crazy."
Sakura smiled, wrapping her hands around his arm and leaning her head on his shoulder. They wandered aimlessly in silence for a few moments.
"Why don't you come to my house for dinner? I'm sure dad will be happy to see you again. Kero too." She giggled, thinking of the stuffed bear's typical reaction to Li, "We can visit the park tomorrow."
"Sure." Li would do anything she wanted.
Sakura bounded into the house, tugging Li after her, and letting the door close with a bang. "Dad! Tory! I'm home!"
"It's about time squirt." Tory's voice sounded from the direction of the kitchen. "What took you?"
Li's face paled at the sound of that voice. "Um, hey Sakura, on second thought, maybe I shouldn't barge in on such short notice."
"Don't be silly." Sakura said, tugging him toward the kitchen, "Dad won't mind."
"You're dad isn't the one I'm afraid of." Li muttered.
"What?" Sakura looked puzzled, then her eyes widened in understanding, "Oh! Him. Don't worry."
"Easy for you to say, he doesn't want to kill you."
"And he doesn't want to kill you either; he's just being over protective."
"Yeah, well he sure doesn't like me much."
"Oh, well," Sakura shrugged, "He'll just have to get used to you because I don't plan on giving you up. Ever."
Li looked at her in shock; she probably had no idea what those simple words did to his heart. He didn't want to give her up ever either.
"Sakura, is that you?" Fujitaka (I know I'm mixing American and Japanese names, but I don't know his American one, I'm sorry) called, coming into the room. "Oh, hello Li! It's good to see you again."
"Hello Mr. Kinomoto (is their American last name Avalon I think, I might use both sorry again)" Li bowed.
The kitchen had gotten strangely quiet, and now the explosion came.
"WHAT!?!?!?" Tory skidded to a halt just inside the doorway, glaring angrily at Li. "What's that GAKI doing here?" he demanded.
Li's eyes widened then narrowed as he returned Tory's glare with an equally upset (and equally cute J ) glare.
"Tory," Sakura stomped her foot, "be nice to him."
"Whatever." Tory stomped back to the kitchen before their dinner burned. "Gaki." He muttered as he left.
"GAKI!" A yellow blur entered the room, circling Li before coming to an abrupt stop right in front of his face. It was, of course, Kero. "It is you!" Kero looked him up and down, "Hey kid, you've gotten taller. Of course that doesn't mean you've gotten smarter." Li swiped at Kero who quickly flew just out of his reach (not that he was trying very hard to catch the little toy).
"Shut up toy. I may have to take that from Tory, but I don't have to take it from you." His voice held none of the angry annoyance it would have held six years ago.
"Kero, be nice to Li." Sakura was truly hurt that two of the people (well, a person and a guardian beast) closest to her still seemed to dislike Li.
"Sorry Sakura." The truth was, Kero didn't dislike Li as much as he let on. In fact, he kinda liked 'the kid', as he was so fond of calling him. He had really helped Sakura out once he had stopped being a jerk. "Welcome home Li." He gave a teddy bear smile.
And Li smiled back.
Which of course made Sakura smile.
Fujitaka just shook his head, "I will never get used to that talking bear thing." He said.
Kero fumed over being called a bear again and Li and Sakura just laughed.